After much posturing and hand wringing, the Lame Duck House of Representatives passed the Senate version of the bill extending the Bush Tax Cuts. A fair number of House Democrats voted against the Senate version, but enough broke ground from Nancy Pelosi and sided with House Republicans. The measure will keep income tax rates where they are now for the next two years. Added to the measure is a 2% reduction in the Payroll Tax rate for one year and a 13 month extension to unemployment benefits, though the limit of 99 months of unemployment is still in effect. President Barack Obama, who has postponed his vacation with his family in Hawaii till the bill is passed, will sign it into law later this afternoon.
Much has been said about this bill for the past two weeks ever since the Obama administration caved in to the GOP leadership. Rather than let Republicans hog all the glory by passing the extension next year, when they take control of the House, Obama arranged the compromise, getting the extension to unemployment benefits to placate his base of supporters. The reduction in the Social Security payroll tax rate has been talked about for nearly 2 years, originally offered up by Republicans as an alternative to the Obama-Pelosi-Reid stimulus bill of 2009, which failed to prevent the unemployment rate exceeding 8% as promised by Obama and his minions.
Also late yesterday, Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, abandoned the $1.3 Trillion dollar omnibus spending bill after GOP senators threatened to demand it being read out loud. The 1,927 page document is essentially a substitute for the 2011 National Budget, which the Democrat-led Congress was unable to write and pass despite being required to do so under statute of law. Reid told reporters yesterday, in regards to the pork-filled earmarks added to the omnibus bill, that he could not understand why Republicans wanted to give up their power to spend? Reid claims that the Constitution gives them the right to spend money.
This is where Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama fail to understand that they are elected to merely represent us citizens, not rule over us. These Democrats want more power, not less. Pork spending, special programs that only benefit a few, like funding for beekeepers or toy wooden arrows. Given that we must borrow every penny we spend these days, earmarks and pork need to be eradicated.
Late overnight, the House backed down from it’s objections and passed the Senate version of the bill extending the Bush Tax Cuts for two more year. Along with a reduction in the Social Security payroll tax rate of 2% and an extension of unemployment benefits for 13 months, President Barack Obama will sign the bill into law this afternoon. While the bill will probably not help the economy improve, it may prevent it from getting worse.